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NCJ Number: 81724 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Neuropsychology of Aggression
Author(s): L T Yeudall
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 72
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This literature review concludes that neurological dysfunction can often be the main causative agent in the genesis of violent behavior and can also be the major factor contributing to the evolution of the psychodynamics of behavior seen in a particular violent individual.
Abstract: Emphasis is placed on studies of prisoners and patients with known aggressive behaviors. Research ignoring the role of biological factors in the genesis of criminal behavior is criticized for failing to work with populations known to be violent. Evidence supporting the role of biogenic factors in violence is reviewed, with emphasis on the results of electroencephalogram studies of prisoners and studies of organic brain syndrome, episodic dyscontrol syndrome, and epilepsy in persons with known violent behavior. Research conducted in the Department of Neurospychology at Alberta Hospital (Canada) is also reviewed. This research focused on the assessments of violent and aggressive criminals referred for psychiatric assessment and adult psychiatric patients admitted to the hospital. The neuropsychological studies involved several different populations and consistently revealed an extremely high proportion -- generally over 80 percent -- of abnormal neuropsychological profiles. A high incidence of dysfunction was also found in criminal populations consisting of habitually violent, aggressive individuals. The impairments were found on variables sensitive primarily to the frontal and temporal regions of the brain. The excess representation of males in violence appears to be in part related to the males' dominant hemisphere vulnerability to brain dysfunction. Findings suggest that it is unrealistic for therapists to assume that all violent individuals have the necessary cerebral resources to cognitively control or regulate their violent impulses. Medical intervention involving medication or neurological intervention may be necessary for many violent individuals. Future research incorporating both biogenic and sociopsychogenic measures is needed. Tables and 159 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Aggression; Biological influences; Neurological disorders; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime; Violence
Note: Prepared for Clarence M Hincks Memorial Lectures Psychobiological Approaches to Aggression in Mental Illness and Mental Retardation
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